The penultimate 8th round of Norway Chess 2022 saw two classical decisive games and three Armageddons. Magnus Carlsen kept the sole leadership in the event but heads into the last round with only 0.5 point advantage over Shakhriyar Mameydarov.
Magnus Carlsen and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave went for the always interesting Grunfeld defense. MVL came out of the opening with a pawn-up, but Magnus had good compensation with the Bishop pair on the board. However, the latter didn’t show his usual endgame perfection and went into a lost position after 45.Bf7?! The French grandmaster didn’t find an immediate follow-up for victory, but shortly after got another chance as Magnus made another blunder. MVL yet again did not play the best move and the classical game ended in a draw. The Armageddon started with the same opening choice and Vachier-Lagrave again had a decisive advantage. He missed his chances and badly blundered in the move 53, resigning immediately after. Replay both classical and Armageddon games here
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defeated Viswanathan Anand having Black pieces in the classical game. Vishy and Shakh opened with a very balanced Petroff defense, but Anand played 22.Qb5 and resigned out of blue. Mamedyarov explained in the post-game interview that he also thought 22.Qb5 was Anand’s best move — and only realized it was a huge blunder when Vishy resigned. Replay the game here
Anish Giri quickly reached a better position against Aryan Tari after playing an attractive 11.g4!? He was successfully keeping the clear advantage until 42.exf4? when Aryan equalized and at some moment turned tables in his favor. Giri managed to strike back and won the game after Tari’s bad check with 57…Nd2+? Replay the game here
The classical encounter between Teimour Radjabov and Hao Wang finished in an uneventful draw. The players traded most of the pieces entering a 00.00 pawns endgame with the same number of pawns and no weaknesses on each side. The draw was signed on the 30th move scheduling an Armageddon. Radjabov won a pawn in the early middlegame of the game of death taking a decisive advantage. Wang fought back but there was no escape. Replay both classical and Armageddon games here
Wesley So and Veselin Topalov were first to finish their classical game today. They agreed on a draw after a quick exchange of most of the pieces, going for the threefold repetition as there were no chances for a decisive result. Wesley searched for a more aggressive approach in Armageddon as he needed a victory to score in the overall match. That didn’t go well as Topalov had a stable set-up and overtook control after Wesley’s 29.d5? In an extremely tense and dynamic position, Topalov made good calls to score an Armageddon victory as Black. Replay both classical and Armageddon games here.
Round 8 results:
The last 9th round starts tomorrow from 17:00 CEST, deciding the winner of the 2022 Norway Chess Tournament. All the games can be followed live on Chessdom.com.
Veselin Topalov – Magnus Carlsen
Hao Wang – Wesley So
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave – Anish Giri
Aryan Tari – Viswanathan Anand
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Teimour Radjabov
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